Samantha Brooke and Chris Darnell with the US Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program join Derek Brockbank on the Capitol Beach. One of the lesser known programs at USFWS, the Coastal Program is voluntary – as opposed to regulatory – program that provides communities technical and financial support for local coastal projects and planning. Being the agency focused on fish and wildlife, their support is focused on habitat enhancement and helping “critters”, but they support projects whose primary purpose can be flood risk reduction, recreation or something else. They also discuss the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants program, a competitive grant program for coastal states, territories and tribes funded through excise taxes on fishing and boating sales. The deadline for the 2021 grant cycle is June 26, 2020.
Samantha Brooke is the National Coastal and Marine Team Lead for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System. Hailing from mid-coast Maine, Samantha has spent her career working at the State and Federal level on coastal and marine conservation on topics as varied as habitat restoration, fisheries observers, bycatch, species recovery, and marine protected areas.
Chris Darnell is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist in the Coastal and Marine Program in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System. He coordinates the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. Prior to joining the Service, Chris worked on coastal zone management issues at the California Coastal Commission and the Coastal States Organization.
ASBPA Executive Director, Derek Brockbank, hosts this semi-regular podcast. Prior to starting with ASBPA, Derek worked as campaign director for a coalition effort to restore the Mississippi River Delta and Coastal Louisiana, and was part of a gulf-wide campaign to pass the RESTORE Act, securing billions of dollars for Gulf Coast restoration. This followed up on his work with National Wildlife Federation on climate adaption. Derek started his career as a grassroots organizer. Derek grew up in New York City and got his coastal education from an early age playing on the beaches of Long Island, and kayaking and fishing in Peconic Bay.